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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Living standards: squeezed further

 

Inflation figures published in December - showing that CPI remained at 2.7 per cent and RPI fell marginally to 3 per cent in November - indicated the continuing pressure on people's living standards, the TUC said.
With the Office for Budget Responsibility not expecting real wage growth until 2014 and further cuts to in-work benefits due in April, 2013 looked like another tough year for working families, the TUC suggested.
Earlier in the month, the TUC reacted with anger to Eurostat figures showing that UK living standards dropped from fourth to sixth highest in Europe during 2011.
TUC on inflation figures @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21778-f0.cfm

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Easier sackings: the last thing we need

 

December's announcement from the government that it is to reduce the minimum redundancy consultation period and remove the right to redundancy from employees on fixed-term contracts received a scathing response from the TUC.
The last thing we needed was for ministers to make it easier to sack people, the TUC said, adding that one of the reasons that unemployment had not gone up as far as feared was because employers and unions had worked together to save jobs.
Further information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21779-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Living standards: squeezed further

 

Inflation figures published in December - showing that CPI remained at 2.7 per cent and RPI fell marginally to 3 per cent in November - indicated the continuing pressure on people's living standards, the TUC said.
With the Office for Budget Responsibility not expecting real wage growth until 2014 and further cuts to in-work benefits due in April, 2013 looked like another tough year for working families, the TUC suggested.
Earlier in the month, the TUC reacted with anger to Eurostat figures showing that UK living standards dropped from fourth to sixth highest in Europe during 2011.
TUC on inflation figures @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21778-f0.cfm

Monday, 28 January 2013

Workers miss out on pensions

Workers miss out on pensions

The government's decision to raise the earnings threshold for auto enrolment into workplace pensions will exclude hundreds of thousands more staff from saving into a workplace pension, the TUC warned last month. Most of those losing out will be women.
Currently staff must earn at least £8,105 in order to be auto-enrolled into a workplace pension, a trigger that already excludes around 1.3 million low-paid workers from being auto-enrolled into their staff pension scheme.
But the decision in December to raise the earnings trigger again to £9,440 with effect from this April will exclude a further 420,000 low-paid staff from saving into a workplace pension, unless they voluntarily sign up.
TUC reaction @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21770-f0.cfm

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Lambeth Unison AGM



The Lambeth Unison AGM took place on Wednesday 26 with many members attending the event at the Brixton Ritzy.

Friday, 25 January 2013

TUC Events

Events

18 January TUC/EOR discrimination law conference
5 February TUC pensions risk seminar
6 March TUC/IDS pay bargaining forum
13 March Future that Works rally
13-15 March TUC women's conference
23-24 March TUC young members' conference
12-14 April TUC black workers' conference
15 May TUC pensions governance seminar
22-23 May TUC Disabled workers' conference
More info on TUC events @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/events/index.cfm

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Referendum on Europe

Whatever we think of Cameron it is clear that he is intelligent enough to know what measures to take to ensure that he wins the next election on his own and his decision to announce a simple referendum on whether we want to be in or out of Europe in 2017 is designed to get him through the next election.

 I have no doubt in my mind that if he wins, which is very likely if the Labour party refuses to promise one, he will simply change the goal post once in office and change the question on the referendum. He has been very clever in doing what he did today. I feel that the majority of the electorate do not want to be in the EU so promising a mechanism through which they can make the decision for the divorce will tempt the majority of people at the next election. Miliband is a total waste of space for not doing the same!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Unison Financial returns and deadlines

Branch Treasurers and Secs are reminded that the Financial returns have to be submitted by the 15 March for this to happen the preparation work should have been done earlier. Reconciliation of accounts by mind December closing of accounts by 30 December. Failure to comply means a fine equivalent to one months income plus exclusion from National Delegate Conference. All AGM's have to be presented with a budget for 2013 and a statement for 2012 income and expenditure.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Rising City profits hit wages

Rising City profits hit wages

Spiralling financial profits have reduced workers' wages and squeezed profits across the rest of the economy, according to a TUC report published in December.
The TUC Touchstone Extra study - Where have all the wages gone? - examines why salaries have been falling for the last 30 years, where the money has gone and what this means for the economy.
Over the past three decades, the share of national income going to wages has fallen from 59 to 53 per cent, while the proportion of GDP going to profits has risen from 25 to 29 per cent. Combined with growing pay inequality, this has left workers on median incomes £7,000 worse off per year.
Summary information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21751-f0.cfm

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Christmas on the dole

 

Over 400,000 people spent their second successive Christmas on the dole, according to TUC research published in the run up to the festive season.
The analysis of official unemployment figures also showed that mass long-term unemployment - where a local area has over 1,000 people that have been on the dole for at least a year - is no longer limited to a few employment blackspots.
Earlier in December, the TUC offered a qualified welcome to the publication of labour market figures showing a fall in unemployment. But the TUC warned that there was 'still a long way to go' before the jobs market returned to full health, with Britain needing a million more jobs just to get back to where it was five years ago.
TUC on Christmas on the dole @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21784-f0.cfm

Friday, 18 January 2013

Future that Works rally

Future that Works rally

A pre-Budget rally is to be held in Westminster on Wednesday 13 March, as part of a wider ETUC Day of Action across Europe against austerity.
The event will take place at The Emanuel Centre, Marsham St, and is intended to be an after-work rally, running from late afternoon to early evening. More information will be circulated to unions in due course.

Rising City profits hit wages

Spiralling financial profits have reduced workers' wages and squeezed profits across the rest of the economy, according to a TUC report published in December.
The TUC Touchstone Extra study - Where have all the wages gone? - examines why salaries have been falling for the last 30 years, where the money has gone and what this means for the economy.
Over the past three decades, the share of national income going to wages has fallen from 59 to 53 per cent, while the proportion of GDP going to profits has risen from 25 to 29 per cent. Combined with growing pay inequality, this has left workers on median incomes £7,000 worse off per year.
Summary information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21751-f0.cfm

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Future that Works rally

 

A pre-Budget rally is to be held in Westminster on Wednesday 13 March, as part of a wider ETUC Day of Action across Europe against austerity.
The event will take place at The Emanuel Centre, Marsham St, and is intended to be an after-work rally, running from late afternoon to early evening. More information will be circulated to unions in due course.

Rising City profits hit wages

Spiralling financial profits have reduced workers' wages and squeezed profits across the rest of the economy, according to a TUC report published in December.
The TUC Touchstone Extra study - Where have all the wages gone? - examines why salaries have been falling for the last 30 years, where the money has gone and what this means for the economy.
Over the past three decades, the share of national income going to wages has fallen from 59 to 53 per cent, while the proportion of GDP going to profits has risen from 25 to 29 per cent. Combined with growing pay inequality, this has left workers on median incomes £7,000 worse off per year.
Summary information @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21751-f0.cfm

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Rail users

More misery for rail users . . .

As people prepared for their first day back at work, the TUC-backed Action for Rail campaign warned that commuters faced yet another year of inflation-busting fare increases and service cuts.
Train fares went up by an average of 3.9 per cent on 2 January, but the TUC said that some passengers faced hikes of up to 10 per cent on their journeys.
Research published by Action for Rail shows that average train fares have risen nearly three times faster than average wages since the beginning of the recession in 2008.
More on this story @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21792-f0.cfm

Monday, 14 January 2013

Families lose over £1,000

 

Families with two children will be over £1,000 worse off by the end of 2015 as a result of the government's decision to freeze and then cap child benefit, according to a report published by the TUC at the end of December.
The study - Child Benefit: a bad case of neglect? - shows that just by preventing child benefit from rising in line with RPI, the Treasury will be leaving all families with two kids still in receipt of child benefit some £1,079 poorer.
Summary details @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21791-f0.cfm

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Benefits cuts: a dangerous game

 

The benefits up-rating cap is unfair and a big political risk for the government, the TUC said ahead of the Commons vote on 8 January.
'Ministers think that the benefits uprating cap will bring them a political dividend that is as effective in delivering votes as it is in reducing the living standards of millions of people on low to middle incomes', said Frances O'Grady.
Earlier, TUC-commissioned polling showed that ministers cannot assume that voters will continue to back them in their plans to cap welfare benefit rises. Revealing widespread ignorance about spending on welfare, the reality of unemployment, and levels of fraud, the poll showed that voters least able to give accurate answers about benefits are the most likely to back the government's policy on cutting them.
TUC on the vote @
http://www.tuc.org.uk/social/tuc-21803-f0.cfm

Saturday, 12 January 2013

TUC General Sec message

New Year message from Frances


An alternative to austerity, a long-term vision for economic change and a fairer society - these are the three key priorities for 2013 set out by new TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady in her New Year message to trade unionists.
On her first day in the job, Frances said: 'I become TUC general secretary at a critical time. The economy is stuck in the middle of what at best looks like a lost decade. Jobs continue to go across the public sector - including in services like health that we were told would be protected. And while we should be pleased that unemployment has not been as bad as many feared, it is still far too high, especially for young people.
'Even for those in work, living standards are stagnating as wages fail to keep pace with prices. Family budgets are under real pressure, particularly when you look at what those on middle and low incomes actually spend their salaries on, such as food, childcare and transport.'
Read the message in full @
http://strongerunions.org/2013/01/02/new-year-and-new-challenges-my-priorities-for-2013/

Friday, 11 January 2013

British telly story lines

I have covered this aspect of British culture before and raised issues with major TV corporations regarding what they focus on. It would seem that all type of subjects and stupid story lines are embraced when it comes to soaps on our telly so I wrote to the BBC and asked them why they do not cover the problems faced by those of us who have ear wax? It is a story that needs exposure. Picture this Emily Bishop has issues with Norris the Doris but falls out with him because she can't hear him clearly because she missed her appointment with the ear wax man the other day. It's current, it's here and it's happening so why don't they focus on that? Still waiting for a reply, seems that they are not taking me seriously! lol.. 

http://lawatwork.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/what-about-earwax.html




Thursday, 10 January 2013

Ken Livingstone and Lords

Glad that our Ken decided not to take the title he was offered he would have been a right old hypocrite if he did. We can't have a society of Equals when some are more equal than others? What is this obsession with dishing out honours anyway? We will never be truly equal if we have distinctions for some.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Free dolphins

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a beautiful group of islands in the West Indies known for their lush beaches and incredible plant and animal life. The Islands' immense natural beauty alone is enough to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors a year -- there's no need to force dolphins into captivity as a tourist attraction

Dolphin Cove Limited has operated pseudo-educational "swim with dolphins" experiences in Jamaica for years, at no benefit to the unfortunate dolphins. Now, the company wants to expand into Turks and Caicos
While going to the "lagoons" might seem like a fun, cruelty-free experience, the dolphins are still captives, forced to entertain strangers and live in unnaturally small enclosures. Even worse, many of the dolphins participating in these "dolphin swims" have been torn from their homes in the wild.
Turks and Caicos have enough marine diversity without bringing captive dolphins into the mix. Tell the government to reject Dolphin Cove's planning permissions and keep this cruelty out of the country!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Back soon

Taking a short break will be back soon.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Where do we go from here?

The government is preparing a massive PR campaign to ensure they have a good chance to win the next election. Cameron will chose centre to middle ground to attract voters from middle England. Those are the people who do not appreciate having to pay much for public services so we need to get our act together to fight the forthcoming attack and stop focusing on divisive arguments! It will also help if we have a solid strategy with specific aims and objectives.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Titles and Inequality

I have written about the connection between titles and Inequality before but I want to continue the argument.

I understand perfectly that the majority of people in this country want to have a monarch instead of an elected president who will probably not be known to anyone else in the world and I respect that this is indeed what the people want. But what I don't understand is the need to have a different class created of those who walk around with titles that they have inherited because of some lucky incident in their past. I am also not comfortable with having so many others acquiring titles because they sold a lot of underpants or they managed to cycle faster than Deidrie Barlow.

We live in a society where Equality is important and to have a situation where some are more equal than others is illegal and against the spirit and the meaning of several Equality Acts? Why isn't someone saying something about this massive contradiction?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ken Livingstone and John Prescot

Apologies to those of you who did not write in in your thousands asking why I have not posted anything on this blog for the last two days. I was taking some time off from saving the world and its 21 oysters.

The most interesting news for me this week was Ken's refusal to accept an honour dished out by the Queen. I respect and admire his decision he would have been seen as a major hypocrite had he accepted. On the other hand I was always amazed and shocked when John Prescott was more than happy to become a Lord a few years ago. This kind of gesture put people like me and many others off politicians who say one thing and do something completely different. Suppose politics is a dirty game? It doesn't have to be!